Letter to Editor: Update on SFO Noise Abatement Program and Gerardo Fries (SFO Special Projects Manager)

South San Francisco, Ca   February 11, 2020 by Jason Isberg, SSF Resident

Today I spoke with Mr. Gerardo Fries, special projects manager at SFO to get an update on the window replacement and new window programs.


First, he wanted to make it clear that SFO had nothing to do with the work/problems associated with the previous noise abatement programs from the 1990s. All SFO/FAA did was allocate the funds to SSF and the city of SSF ran the program, hired the contractors, etc. Take that as you wish, but he was adamant that the blame for past problems falls on SSF NOT SFO. He also mentioned “SFO is using its own money to try to make this right for homeowners at their own goodwill and are in no way obligated to do anything” (his words, not mine).


Here is the update communicated to me on what is happening now. SFO is taking a much larger role in the program this time around and not just turning the money over to the cities to manage. SFO (in conjuncture with Jones Payne Group) will source, vet and select the engineering partners and window contractors. All work and materials will be required to meet all FAA standards.


The new window and replacement window program will run concurrently. Currently, they are still processing applications and conducting inspections. I was told this takes time and they are doing them as quickly as possible (I did point out to him that this has been going on for a year already). This phase will wrap up in the next 2-3 months. Next step will be to work with Jones Payne on analyzing the inspection reports and turning those findings over to the FAA. Then, in around 3 months they will open the project up for contractor bids, which Jones Payne and SFO will evaluate and ultimately select. During this time frame, SFO will be doing architectural design for the eligible homes’ windows and casings.


Next step will be the actual construction (or installation) phase. This is set to begin “at the end of the year.” No more specifics on that timing, unfortunately. Also, no specifics offered on how long it will take to complete the construction/installation. And, no specifics offered on how quickly/slowing this will roll out for all eligible homes.  It will be done in groups of homes but it’s unclear how many homes will be in each group.


Hope this is helpful.


Jason Isberg


PS, I mentioned a few homeowners had some problems and received some terse communication back from C. Kell-Smith.  Mr. Gerardo Fries (SFO) advised to please copy him on any communication with Kell-Smith (or other partners) so he can monitor any problems issues individually and address appropriately. Also, if you still have an ongoing issue with C. Kell-Smith, please let Mr. Fries know so he can address your concern. His email address is Gerardo.Fries[at]flysfo.com.


Some neighbors received this letter

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Arnel Junio
Arnel Junio
2 years ago

My parents own a home in Westborough.

The windows are the same equipment from the time the home was originally constructed.

Can they still apply to see if their home is eligible for new windows?

Mary Louise Froese
Mary Louise Froese
2 years ago

I never received the letter sent out on January 20. I see the deadline to send the signed letter back is tomorrow, 2/14/20.